Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Bush meets with Republican Supporter about "Those People" in New Orleans

Would this guy be allowed into the White House if he were black?

Katrina Survivor Meets With Bush at White House
Rockey Vaccarella drove a replica of his FEMA trailer to Washington to raise awareness of continuing problems. (AP)

AP and the Washington Post report President Bush met with a survivor of Hurricane Katrina today who drove a replica of a FEMA trailer to Washington from Louisiana to remind the president "that the job's not done" on the hurricane-devastated Gulf Coast. Check this out, the post is reporting Bush said, "He (Vaccarella) decided to come up to Washington, D.C., to make clear to me and others in the government that "those people" down there are still hurting," President Bush said in a joint appearance with Rockey Vaccarella, 41, on the south lawn of the White House. "I told him that I understand there are people down there who still need help."

African American Political Pundit says: It's obvious that this "photo op" was a staged White House event which included Vaccarella saying the country needed Bush to stay on for another four-year term. This event has a Tony Snow stamp all over it.

One has to wonder if any of the thousand of black hurricane victims drove to the white house in a replica of a FEMA trailer from Washington from Louisiana demanding to see Bush, would they be arrested for driving while black, even before getting out of New Orleans?

This guy Vaccarella ran unsuccessfully as a Republican candidate for the St. Bernard Parish Council back in 1999. What ever happened to cindy Shehan?

Jefferson's Ever Shrinking Re-election Chances

Check out Christopher Tidmore's recent news analysis of the Congressman Bill Jefferson's job prospects. Lets hope congressman Jefferson job prospects become even more limited.


NEW ORLEANS (NNPA) -- When well-financed opposition comes from both the left and the right, usually an incumbent Congressman should begin sending out resumes to DC-based lobbying firms. Of course, Bill Jefferson's job prospects might be somewhat limited. Few advocacy retainers come in the form of frozen cash.

Nevertheless, local political groups smell the blood in the ice, err, water, and have fielded candidates to confront the Second District Congressman's re-election bid. The potential match-ups are so strong, that a real possibility exists that Jefferson might not make the runoff.

Part of the Congressman's problem emerges from the obvious Nigeria scandal and its offshoots, i.e. commandeering a military Humvee after Katrina to retrieve ''files'' from his home. The Congressman's main hope for surviving the scandal has rested in the promise that his seniority could be leveraged to provide necessary financial assistance to a district still reeling from Katrina. Yet, time in Congress, as any student of Capitol Hill dynamics will attest, only counts as far as it provides placement on key committees that control the money - or in Jefferson's case, the tax credits that other Congressmen need and will use their clout to obtain.

The decision by the Democratic caucus to remove Jefferson from Ways and Means removed the major justification for his re-election. Even without an indictment, his opponents are expected to argue, Jefferson's usefulness to the citizens of the Second District has come to an end. It is a stand that Derrick Shepherd has already begun to take.

The State Senator from District 3 opened his congressional race on Monday, Aug. 7th, with the words that his money would not come out of a freezer and other comments underlining how the controversy has finished Jefferson. Shepherd said he would stick to the issues, and then added that the major issue was that Bill Jefferson now lacked the influence in the U.S. House of Representatives to get anything done.

However, the real danger that the State Senator poses to the Congressman comes not from his words, but from the way that the Second Congressional District has evolved over the years-growing the influence of African-Americans in Shepherds's native Jefferson Parish.

To maintain its Black Majority, Bill Jefferson's seat has been redrawn twice to include other parts of the metro area, especially African-American sections of East and West Jefferson. Despite the perception that it is a New Orleans district, the suburban voters have grown in power in the Second. Katrina only accelerated a trend already underway.

Prior to the storms, 28 prcent of the population of the total population of Jefferson Parish was African-American, with its sizable concentrations in west bank communities of Marrero and Gretna and east back neighborhoods like South Kenner. These growing Black neighborhoods sit within the 2nd District. In the wake of Katrina, these areas experienced neither overly disruptive flooding nor considerable permanent population dislocation. With much of the Orleans areas of the district depopulated, recent demographic studies point to almost half of the seat's local voters living in the suburbs with little emotional connection to a New Orleans' oriented candidate like the incumbent. More >>>

Here is a post from Falcon (hat tip to Falcon) at Hang Right Politics. Falcon and I don't agree politically on a lot of issues, but we do agree the true facts of American Patriotism during 911 should be told. Read more about Jason Thomas of Columbus Ohio and the World Trade Center film.

Source: Hang Right Politics


From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

‘WTC’ casting error draws flak from African-Americans
Wednesday, August 16, 2006

By L.A. Johnson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A hero of another color in Oliver Stone’s “World Trade Center” has some people again balking at the whitewashing of a black character in a Hollywood film. This time it’s the character of Marine Sgt. Thomas, one of two former Marines who help rescue New York Port Authority Officers Will Jimeno and John McLoughlin from beneath 20 feet of twisted metal, broken concrete and sparking debris in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks.

In the film, white actor William Mapother — who’s Tom Cruise’s cousin and who played Ethan Rom in the first season of “Lost” and Quecreek miner John “Flathead” Phillippi in ABC’s “The Pennsylvania Miners’ Story” — plays Sgt. Thomas.

Last week, the real Sgt. Thomas — a black, former Marine named Jason Thomas of Columbus, Ohio — came forward and told his story.

“Someone needed help. It didn’t matter who,” Thomas told the Associated Press. “I didn’t even have a plan. But I have all this training as a Marine, and all I could think was, ‘My city is in need.’ ”

So, instead of heading to class at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice at City University of New York that fateful morning, he headed toward the devastation. At ground zero, he ran into another ex-Marine and Connecticut accountant, Staff Sgt. David Karnes, and the two decided to search for survivors. Eventually they found Jimeno and McLoughlin.

Karnes, who couldn’t reach Manhattan’s 911 from his cell phone at ground zero, called his sister in Munhall, Joy Karnes. She helped relay information to New York emergency services that helped them pinpoint the trapped men’s location.

This is so disappointing to me because I’ve heard World Trade Center is a fantastic film. I’ve also heard the Marine Sgt. Thomas character has some of the best lines in the movie like, “You are our mission” and “They’re gonna need some good men to avenge this.” As pointed out in the article,

Black men so rarely are portrayed or presented as heroes in popular culture and the media that when the opportunity to do so arises, they should be.

I still plan to see the movie but this is a real missed opportunity by the filmmakers to show that patriotism and courage come in all colors.